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Issue 14-14

The Long-Awaited Something That We Wait For

Dear Friends,

I sat at home alone Friday night, November 6, waiting for word from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter: National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy Award Ceremony. Our son, Joel Mains, had been nominated for three Emmys—one for Best Documentary in its category (Producer), one for Best Director and the last for Best Editing.

The tickets were pricey and there were only a few places allotted at the banquet tables for attendees, so David, being Joel’s father, attended the dinner with his son. All nominees must prepare themselves for not receiving an award for work they know is well-done. I know I sat before the television screen thinking, This work is too Christian for this secular television, news-reporting crowd. I’d been traveling and did the major portion of my praying after the awards and their recipients had surely been decided. Oh, God, You know what we’re going to pray before we pray it. Forgive me my preoccupation and please apply my come-lately spiritual requests to the time slot when they could have counted.

I decided also to pray, “At least let something good come out of this for Joel. Even if he doesn’t win, let these nominations open doors and bring him opportunities that couldn’t have happened without the Emmy nod.”

Three hours into my solo watch, the phone rang. It was David, “Well, we (notice the proprietary pronoun) won for Best Documentary.” Then a pause. “Oh, my goodness! He just got a second Emmy for Best Director.” Joel dedicated that award to his father, who fortunately was sitting in the ballroom to hear it. Believe me, David and I reveled, but not as much as when an hour later, Joel won a third Emmy, for Best Editing. I learned that one of the presenters said to him, “You’re having a good night.”

Well, I guess. So were we all.

The documentary, INK 180, captures the story of Christian tattoo artist, Chris Baker, who removes the barcodes from sex slave trafficking victims. Chris and his wife feel they are called to this difficult ministry, and the tattoo removals are done for free, a decision that thrusts ongoing financial pressure into their lives. Chris also removes gangland markings from the faces and arms of former gang members as well as covering over the scars from self-inflicted cuttings, often from prostitutes wanting to erase trigger reminders of their painful past. These scars and tattoos often prohibit people from being self-supporting and maintaining their families.

INK 180 is a difficult story, raw in many places, but it is also an uplifting look at what one couple, who are willing to sacrifice personal gain, are willing to do for others. It is really a tale of redemption, of the power of God to change lives, and it has now been awarded three Emmys. Someone else other than two proud parents think it is an incredible story, beautifully told.

Why am I sharing this, other than the fact that I am a proud mother and want to exult a little? It is because all of us have a long-awaited something in our life that we wait for (and wait for) and find that hope often wavers when it doesn’t appear. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Joel graduated from film school with a degree in script-writing more than two decades ago. He has worked for Christian ministries since then, hardly the creative incubation laboratory for Emmy-award winning productions.

Many of you reading this have a long-awaited something in your life. Whole cities hope for that long-awaited pennant race. People look for that long-awaited perfect house, perfect spouse-to-be, perfect job promotion. Parents grieve over a child wandering into drugs, away from things of faith, into a lifestyle of promiscuity and self-indulgence. They wait and hope and watch for a turnaround, for repentance, for God to work a miracle. That prodigal child returning home is the long-awaited something that they watch, pray, long for.

A wealthy donor who believed in Chris Baker’s unusual ministry, put up the initial funds for this documentary. Probably no one thought the project would go so far as to win three Emmys. In truth, this was a hoped-for dream of Joel’s, as it is for every film student, but working for years in a small Christian media ministry, I’m sure he didn’t think he stood a chance for such a project to come this way.

In addition, because Joel had a small team and a limited budget, he did most of the work—producing, directing and editing. If he had been attached to a larger production house, the opportunity for a three-sweep would have been impossible. There would have been enough money to hire an appropriate-sized film crew.

But God knew about Joel’s long-awaited something and in the fullness of time, when Joel was being pointed toward a future none of us could  predict, this opportunity came along. He did his best and was able to hear those words at the Chicago/Midwest Award Ceremony for the National Academy of Television Arts & Science. “Joel Mains, INK 180, Producing.” “Joel Mains, INK 180, Editing.” “Joel Mains, INK 180, Editing.”

Joel Mains
Joel with his three Emmy Awards

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 13:12 that “hope deferred makes the heart sick. There are many of you reading this who hope for a long-awaited something and your hoping heart is becoming flaccid, weary of this lengthy-unanswered prayer. Don’t give up. Remember that your prayers are also being used for people who similarly wait but have no one to pray for them. Be faithful in the desert of your desire. In the fullness of His scheme for you, when the time is ready, you too will hear your name, receive word, answer a knock on the door, find your buzzing cell phone, and the news that comes will be amazing, breathtaking, unbelievable, too much to take in.

“And God is able to cause all grace to abound to you in order that in everything, always having all sufficiency, you may be abounding for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8.

Karen Mains


Advent Retreats of Silence

The 24-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence is pretty much filled. However, there are still slots open for the 8-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence (Thursday, Dec. 3 / Saturday, Dec. 5).

CLICK HERE for additional details and Online Registration (multiple payment options).

Check out additional information with a few clicks, register online, and pay the retreat fees as well. We’ve tried to make this as user-friendly as possible.

NOTE: We have some scholarships that have been made available. If your financial circumstances make it difficult to pay the registration fee, please email Karen at and we will be delighted to help.

The God Hunt (Ordering / Donation Info)

This month, for any gift of any amount, we will send one autographed hardback copy of The God Hunt as our way of saying thank you. If you are interested, please email me at or phone me at 630-293-4500. There are various ways you can help. A few ideas:

* Send a year-end gift as a way of providing funds for my frustrated plans!
* Send a gift in the amount of your choosing and receive a hardcover copy of The God Hunt in return.
* Buy quantities of The God Hunt at $5 a book.
* Buy a whole box of books (32 quantity) for $150.

If you would like to send a gift or make a purchase, you can call the number above (we can take credit cards), or mail a check made payable to Hungry Souls to Box 30, Wheaton, IL, 60187.

stacked boxes of books


The Soulish Food e-mails are being posted biweekly on the Hungry Souls Web site. Newcomers can look that over and decide if they want to register on the Web site to receive the biweekly newsletter. You might want to recommend this to friends also. They can go to

Karen Mains

Karen Mains

"All of us have a long-awaited something in our life that we wait for (and wait for) and find that hope often wavers when it doesn’t appear."
Can We Help You Give a Christmas Gift That Can Change a Life?

For over 40 years, I have kept an almost-daily record of God’s interventions in the ordinary (and sometimes not so ordinary) circumstances of my life. So when distress came my way, catastrophe and loss, I have developed a sure conviction that God is present and active no matter what is going on. Going on the God Hunt is one of the spiritual games David and I developed to teach our children how to recognize God’s involvement in their lives. Through the broadcast ministries, it spread nationally and became a huge help to so many who wondered where God was and what he was doing.

We have a bookshelf full of cases of hardcover copies of The God Hunt in our garage and would rather have them read and used than sit in storage. Details for procuring the books are in the NOTICES.

Back-cover copy from The God Hunt:

Finding God incognito in the world...
is delight. It is joy. It is wonder.
It is a childlike, wiggling anticipation that somewhere, any moment, just around the next corner, when you least expect it,
the Divine is going to jump out,
... and you are going to respond,

Join Karen Mains on the God Hunt—a playful and profound way to seek and find those seemingly ordinary moments when God intervenes in your life with guidance, care and help.

You'll find such moments happen more than you think! And you'll be drawn into deeper communion with God as you tune in to the many ways He answers prayer, shows evidence of His love, helps you do His work in the world and "works all things together for good."

Copyright 2006-2015 Mainstay Ministries. All rights reserved.

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